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Human Trafficking has been named the fastest growing criminal enterprise of the 21st century. It is estimated to be a 150 billion dollar industry that is second to only drugs in terms of organized crime. Human sex trafficking is a devastating crime going on not only in faraway countries, but right here in your own back yard.
Human sex trafficking can affect anyone. It does not discriminate and its victims range across all social and economic boundaries. 600,000 – 800,000 people globally are brought into human trafficking each year and about 50% of those victims are estimated to be children according to Ark of Hope for Children.
How is it happening near you? What can you do to help stop sex trafficking in your community? The hospitality industry, hotels, motels, clubs, bars, casinos, resorts, and other establishments enable sex trafficking to go on because it is more profitable to aid the epidemic than to stop it. Businesses need to be held accountable for enabling sex traffickers to continue their exploitation. Victims are traumatized not only by their traffickers but by the properties who turned a blind eye to their suffering.
If you are a survivor of sex trafficking, we may be able to help, call today to see if you may be entitled to compensation and help hold these establishments accountable. Call 332-334-6901. Confidential and Free.
Here at SullivanBrill, we are trying to help by holding these establishments accountable for their actions. There are signs that a competent hotel operator should be aware of to recognize sex trafficking. Often times, the pimps request a room by an exit and pay in cash. The victims often have no form of identification and are not allowed to speak to hotel staff. Typically, the occupants of the rooms repeatedly turn down or deny entry to cleaning services, but frequently requests sheets and towels. When the room is vacated, it's not uncommon for the housekeeping staff to find multiple condoms and sex toys. The victims are controlled and closely monitored by another individual with them. The pimp may stay in the lobby or close by booking the victims' next appointment on the open wifi. Worst of all, hotel staff is aware of what is going on and accepts or demands a bribe to allow it to continue. When owners and senior management overlook these signs, the are as responsible as the traffickers that for they harm the victims suffer.
If you work in the hospitality industry and have witnessed such exploitation, please call today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Human trafficking?
The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation.
What is Sex Trafficking?
The United States Government defines sex trafficking as a commercial sex act induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age. The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Who could potentially be held accountable?
Institutions that turn a blind eye and allow the exploitation of girls, boys, women and men alike, should be held accountable. Notably, in the media, there have been serval cases which aim to bring justice for a survivor against an institution. Recent examples include;
- Wyndham Hotels & Resorts - A woman identified in the court papers as "S.J.", has filed a ten million dollar lawsuit against Wyndham Hotels & Resort, who owns the two motels where she was sex trafficked, repeatably raped, beaten, and held captive. S.J. claims the hotels choose “to ignore the open and obvious presence of sex trafficking on their properties.” She met her trafficker at ten years old after running away from another abusive foster home. He then trafficked her for the next three years, from ages 10-13, where she was forced to prostitute herself between 15 and 20 times per day. The lawsuit paperwork reflects that she and other girls were kept at the motels for days at a time. S.J.'s trafficker would pay cash for the motel rooms or allow the hotel staff to rape the girls as payment. There was even a bowl of condoms at the front desk for the johns and staff. "The hospitality industry plays a crucial role in the sex trade. The trope of the ‘no-tell hotel’ is certainly not a new one,” the lawsuit states, adding 45% of all sexual exploitation in New York City happens in hotels."
- Michigan State University (MSU) - Over 300 women and girls were sexually abused by USA Gymnastics team doctor and an osteopathic physician at Michigan State University, Larry Nassar. This has been one of the most widespread sexual abuse cases in sports history. MSU agreed to pay $500 million dollars to the victims of Larry Nassar. This is the largest settlement in history by a university for sexual abuse.
- Catholic Church - http://www.bishop-accountability.org/
- Jeffery Epstein- Jeffery Epstein was originally a math teacher, but became very successful after switching careers to investment banking. In July of 2019, he was arrested on charges of sex trafficking. This was not his first offense. In 2008, he served 13 months in prison for solicitation of prostitution involving a minor. In 2019, he was charged by federal prosecutors, who stated that Epstein "sexually exploited and abused dozens of minors in his homes in Manhattan, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations." The prosecution alleged he abused girls as young as 14. Along with allegations against Epstein for participating in trafficking and abusing the girls, came allegations against his high profile friends who frequented the parties where the abuse would take place. Many politicians, scientists, celebrities and others in the public eye began to be exposed by this sex trafficking ring. But after pleading guilty, Jeffery Epstein committed suicide in prison awaiting trial. Recently, his partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted and sentenced to prison for her part in recruiting and grooming young girls to perform sexual acts for Jeffery Epstein and his associates.
- Boy Scouts of America - In August of 2019, a lawsuit was filed against Boy Scouts of America for failing to protect the children against the sexual abuse.
Human trafficking is the modern slave trade. Often times victims are lured in with promises of income, opportunities, and love. Young children are taken or lured away from home and then sold into the sex trade. Once in, it is difficult to break out of and often an attempt to escape would be a risk to the victim's life. We want to help survivors who have been hurt by this devastating crime. We want to stop it from continuing to hurt others in the future. Whether you or a loved one has had to endure this unimaginable crime, please call and share your story confidentially with an attorney to see if we may be able to help. Call at 332-334-6901. There are other resources available if you are currently being sex trafficked or are a survivor of sex trafficking. We urge you to seek help, the national human trafficking hotline is 1 (888) 373-7888. This is a 24/7 hotline with professionals who speak more than 200 languages to accommodate your needs. You can also text SMS: 233733 Text "HELP" or "INFO" or find more information on humantraffickinghotline.org.